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The Gang Gets Serious

August 3, 2009

     So, ever since the beginning of Dark Reign, I have consistently enjoyed New Avengers.  Aside from what was occasionally overly silly dialogue, Brian Michael Bendis seemed to have a much better grasp on the characters he was writing this time around.  That makes sense, since Dark Reign is his story.  So, it’s the beginning of the third Dark Reign arc, and that trend continues.  In the aftermath of the New Avengers/Hood gang throwdown in the first arc, the members of the Hood gang complain about getting their asses handed to them and wonder why it is that the Avengers seemed to be expecting someone else.  Closer to the present day, Captain America returns to the hideout and looks rather pissed that the Avengers are making his home their pigsty.  Meanwhile, Chemistro and Dr. Harrow marvel at Tony Stark’s tech that can turn off powers and decide to reverse engineer it.  Spider-Man and Jessica Jones quibble about Spider-Man’s secret identity, and Dr. Harrow reveals his findings to the group.  Ronin says that they have to kill Norman Osborn to solve their problems, and Spider-Man reminds him that they’re supposed to be heroes.  Cap then gets a call that Chemistro is trashing the town.  They go to try and stop him, but he activiates the now-completed power canceller, and the team is left at his mercy.

     Now, I have little problems with this issue.  But compared to before, a few little problems are fine.  It’s just like the rest of these issues; there are a few problems in an overall excellent issue.  For one, I don’t like how Spider-Man is taking his identity reveal.  And the Civil War reference was awkward, for reasons that I’m sure everybody gets.  I also don’t know why Ronin and Captain America, neither of whom have powers, are affected by the power canceller.   That makes no real sense.  But aside from that, in terms of dialogue, this was possibly Bendis’ best issue.  The characters seemed far less juvenile, especially when Spider-Man stood up to Ronin to stand up for morality.  I love the little thread with Cap and the pigsty, and I love seeing the Hood’s forces do their own thing.  It’s a natural evolution of what’s going on, especially since the Hood is now in the hospital because of the Dr. Voodoo thing.  Stuart Immonen is also a great artist who captures the tone of the series and the subject matter quite well.  Occasionally, his faces could use a tad more detail (ie. Madame Masque and Mockingbird), but that’s it.  All in all, I’m excited to see what Bendis is going to do with this arc.  And I only hope that the Avengers can recover from what looks to be a crippling defeat.

Plot: 8.8      Art: 8.5      Dialogue: 8.7      Overall: 8.7

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